Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Sanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday endorsed middle school principal Jamaal Bowman’s primary challenge against Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelNYC snafu the latest flub from a broken elections agency Cynthia Nixon backs primary challenger to Rep. Carolyn Maloney Democrats call on Blinken to set new sexual misconduct policies at State Department MORE (D-N.Y.) in the race to represent New York’s 16th Congressional District.
“Jamaal Bowman is a public school teacher and principal in the Bronx who is running for the U.S. House in New York's 16th District to unseat a 16-term incumbent Democrat,” Sanders said.
“Jamaal understands that low-income families are locked out of opportunity and a decent life due to a system that is rigged to benefit the wealthy. In Congress he will lead the fight for investing in our public schools, ending mass incarceration, and addressing the housing crisis. He is someone we can trust to be a powerful advocate for a progressive agenda in Congress.”
Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is under siege from the left, with top progressive groups and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSinema's no Manchin, no McCain and no maverick Ocasio-Cortez goes indoor skydiving for her birthday Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention MORE (D-N.Y.) already having backed Bowman.
Bowman has been raking in the cash since the left began rallying around his campaign, bringing in more than $250,000 in the three days after Ocasio-Cortez announced her support.
Bowman is running on a progressive platform that includes “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal. He has the support of the Justice Democrats, a group aligned with Ocasio-Cortez, as well as the progressive group Democracy for America.
Engel, meanwhile, is seeking his 17th term in office. He defeated three primary challengers in 2018 on his way to winning another term in 2018, but he faces a far greater challenge from Bowman in 2020.
Last week, Engel was caught on a hot mic at an event, where he was heard saying "if I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care” to address a crowd of activists.
Engel has the backing of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSen. Ron Johnson hoping for Democratic 'gridlock' on reconciliation package Virginia race looms as dark cloud over Biden's agenda Biden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksUS faces daunting task in relationship with Haiti Overnight Defense & National Security — China steps up saber rattling White House puts China on notice MORE, head of the Queens Democratic Party and the Congressional Black Caucus.
The New York primary is on June 23.